Now THIS is what I'm talkin' about...

The rain finally stopped at 4:30 AM this morning, hallelujah! We're watching the sun set behind the mountains now, after a lovely day doing everything we like to do:
--leisurely departure in the morning (left by 9AM)
--shopping trip to a Sacto-area Camping World that was on our route (who knew how excited one could get about various and sundry RV accessories?)
--gorgeous drive up Napa Valley to our lunch destination, Taylor's Automatic Refresher, which we'd seen reviewed on TV and which TOTALLY lived up to its reputation as the fanciest hamburger ever: Niman Ranch-raised beef (yum), organic everything else. You've never seen a wine list like THIS at a drive-in burger joint (well, you've probably never seen ANY wine list at a burger joint): read the menu here
--delicious and fascinating wine-tasting session
--wonderful campground experience

Now to explain the details. Here's our lunch destination's sign (with one of the gajillion wineries in the background):

Even cooler is going to Taylor's in an RV. There is only outdoor seating--picnic-style or in your car. Very chilly today and only a few tables had heat lamps over them. So, we got our order to go and enjoyed it inside the RV, where we had our own ketchup ;-) When the food is SO good, I forget to take pictures. Best patty melt ever.

But that's not all the wondrousness of the day. We kept driving up the Valley, past every famous winery you can think of, to our 1:30 appointment at Schramsberg. OMG. The best champagne (and most beautiful caves). We tasted the same champagnes that have been served by every U.S. president since Nixon. Nixon actually was the guy who made them famous, by taking 13 cases over to China with him. Since then, the Carters, Fords, Reagans, Bushes (both of 'em), Clintons, and we hear Obamas (but the photos weren't up yet) serve this yummy, tiny-bubbled nectar of the gods to their guests (like Queen Elizabeth). We were the only 2 people on the tour--one of the joys of traveling both off-season and in the middle of the week. What fun. We bought one champagne and one amazingly tasty (and pricey) Cab. Not sure what occasion will call for the opening of either, but we had to take one of each home. If you're intrigued,
check this out.

Then to cap off the day, we checked into our online-reserved campground. We were, at 3:30PM, the only ones here ;-) with no one in the office. A bit creepy. But now (at 6PM) there are 4 of us here, which feels better. We parked and took Nick out (he has serious cabin fever with all the rain) and walked into Calistoga to purchase a bottle of wine for dinner. We are in Napa, after all, and must have something local....

Nice hour-long walk, which we all needed and enjoyed. This is the first campground we've stayed at where we could walk to attractions. Love having another "first."

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